Siletz Tribes question 'Latgawa' group's claims for sovereignty
The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon says a group is making false claims about its heritage and sovereignty.

The Siletz Tribes are a federally-recognized confederation of tribes and bands, including the Latgawa. But another group is calling itself the Latgawa Native American Indian Tribe and is asserting authority to operate tribal courts and run a police department in Siletz territory.

"Mr. Newkirk's group possesses no sovereignty, no sovereign rights and has no rights under federal law or tribal law," the Siletz Tribes said in a letter to Jackson County, referring to John Newkirk, who goes by the name "Chief Grey Eagle." "Mr. Newkirk's group(s) are simply private groups claiming to be Indians."

The Bureau of Indian Affairs doesn't recognize the "Latgawa" group. "If you're trying to claim some territory where some other tribes are, that could cause some problems down the line," regional director Stanley Speaks told The Medford Mail Tribune.

Get the Story:
Legitimate claim or 'big fake'? (The Medford Mail Tribune 8/10)
Becoming a federally recognized tribe is tough (The Medford Mail Tribune 8/10)

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'Latgawa' tribe under investigation in Oregon (7/12)